When I drive…

When I drive…………………….

Riding the motorcycle was difficult for me; it still gets difficult when the whole city seems to be on road, in one form or another. It becomes a dog eat dog world with everyone posing to be as aggressive as possible.  I don’t dare cross a truck, a guy with his sweetheart pillion riding, an SUV with the whole family inside and intercity auto rickshaws.

I will tell you why you can’t do that.

First we take trucks,

You just don’t do anything with a truck other than follow it, because it’s a truck and if you overtake it, the truck seems to be saying to me with all the horns and shouting that -“I don’t know who you are. I don’t know what you want. If you are looking for ransom (read space on road), I can tell you I don’t have money (again read space on road, but he’s lying). But what I do have are a very particular set of skills; skills I have acquired over a very long career. Skills that make me a nightmare for people like you. If you let my daughter go now (read – let me go ahead of you), that’ll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don’t (read- and still keep riding ahead of me), I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you.”(Yes, its’ from movie- Taken-2008).

Guy with his sweetheart

I drive a 350 cc motorcycle,which looks exactly like this;

Me on my Beast

 

it’s a lot more powerful than what a large section of city generally rides on which is around 100 cc to 200cc at most. So, I’ve got power in my bike, so what? I should never forget that they have their power sitting behind them. And you dare not make fun of a guy by overtaking them in presence of their “Ahems”. If you do so, they will drive and they’ll drive like anything just to make sure that they still are heroes, only problem is that this city lost more than 900 such heroes in 2012 in road accidents only. This shows the naivety of the “purpose” in the lives of the youth in this country.  And I find it worth mentioning that if a guy can put himself in danger for such negligent causes, he can certainly die saving his caste, land or religion. So, next time you see someone with a gun marching on the Indian Parliament or burning the house of someone from another religion or caste, you should know that this guy lacked purpose before he started doing what he is doing. So what, you just don’t cross a guy who his whispering sweet nothings in the ears of his “you know who”. And it shouldn’t matter if his driving reminds you of a snake moving in water, all you lesser mortal could do is just follow them-silently.

Now SUVs,

Then are the SUVs, you de abbreviate them as you want to but for me they are Special Unmanned Vehicles. Now, let us get a bit political, the state of Jharkhand is full of natural resources, so full of them that in only 13 years, this state has seen 8 Chief Ministers and now they have Presidents rule, which if objectively explained means that democracy couldn’t succeed in this mine rich state.

With all the resources, this state has some rules:

  1. No one other than a tribal will be the chief minister of the state
  2. One can never do contract farming in this state
  3. If you’re non-ST (Schedule Tribe), you can’t buy land from a tribal (applies to all of India).

The rules are enforced and enforced in such a way that one ex- Chief Minister is behind bars on corruption charges and another former chief minister has murder charges pending against him (but he’s out for now).

So, how does this relates to the SUV and my nightmare on roads?

The rules as are with every rules were meant to protect the social and economic interest of the natives of this state but as happens with every other rules, people found out a way around it and most of the land in the state is available for a meager price, you just need right kind of connections.

Well, this going around procedure transpired into this state having 2 classes, one with nothing and one with everything and by everything I mean EVERYTHING. The impact of everything is so strong in their lives that even constitution of India becomes any other book for them.

So, when the people with everything come on the road, me- someone dwelling in between nothing and something has to give way or his highness would punish me with his four-wheels. So get out of the way

Then we have auto rickshaw drivers.

Well, what would you think of someone who is the size of a car but drives on whatever is left of the road after trucks and SUVs?

In equitable terms, the road left for them is equal to the Germany left for Germans after First World War. Plus, most of them don’t own the rickshaws and are driving on rent paying Rs. 350/day to the owners from their daily earning of around Rs.600 to Rs.800.

So, even if they regularly push me off-road, stop anywhere they want to because there are no fixed pick-up stands, I don’t mind them poor souls.

But I promise you, that I will drive and won’t deter because of any such factors, because this world was, is and will remain after me. So, until I am here let some truckers get offended, some egos of SUVs shattered and some youths mesmerized by how well I can drive .

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ashutosh previously worked in relief and rehabilitation of flood victims in Bihar in 2008. He has also completed a quantitative research on status of health insurance in India. As part of his field work assignments at Delhi University for his Masters in Social Work, he worked for Child rights in Delhi, performed activities with Mica-mining population of Jharkhand and worked to uproot the nepotism from government welfare institutions through use of public advocacy and Right to Information Act.

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